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Managing embodied carbon in buildings: a pareto approach.

Victoria, Michele Florencia; Perera, Srinath


Srinath Perera


Purpose: The aim of this paper is to identify the carbon intensive building elements or 'carbon hotspots' of office buildings in order to maximize the carbon reduction potential during design stages. Design/methodology/approach: Embodied carbon estimates of 28 office buildings in the UK were obtained and carbon hotspots of the samble (in accordance with NRM element classification) were identified using the 80:20 Pareto Principle. Findings: Frame, Substructure, External walls, Services and Upper Floors were identified as a carbon hotspots of the selected sample. However, findings do not support the 80:20 ratio in this case but propose a ratio of 80:36. Stairs, Internal Walls and partitions, Internal Doors, Wall Finishes, Ceiling Finishes and Fittings and Furnishings were identified as carbon insignificant elements that have a lower EC reduction potential compared to the rest. Originality/value: Findings unveil carbon intensive and carbon insignificant building elements of typical office buildings in the UK. This informs designers of the elements that could yield the highest potential embodied carbon savings via effective design choices. In addition, a logical design timeline is proposed for building elements based on their element hotspot category and design sequence to assist design decision making.


VICTORIA, M.F. and PERERA, S. 2018. Managing embodied carbon in buildings: a pareto approach. Built environment project and asset management [online], 8(5), pages 504-514. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 12, 2018
Publication Date Dec 31, 2018
Deposit Date Jul 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Nov 12, 2018
Journal Built Environment Project and Asset Management
Print ISSN 2044-124X
Electronic ISSN 2044-1258
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 5
Pages 504-514
Keywords Carbon hotspots; Carbon hotspots probability; Embodied carbon; Office buildings; Pareto principle
Public URL


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